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Baltimore Restaurant Loses More Than 30 Employees After ICE Visit

More than 90 staffers left had to keep pace with the regular weekend demand

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The staffers left before a 400-person event planned that weekend.

More than 30 employees of The BoatHouse Canton did not show up to work over the weekend after Immigration and Customs Enforcement began a review of the restaurant's immigration records, the restaurant's co-owner said.

The southeast Baltimore restaurant received a request from ICE to review its I-9 forms on Thursday, said Gene Singleton, who co-owns the BoatHouse. By Friday, many dishwashers, line cooks, food runners, barbacks and other back of the house staff told managers they were "very, very fearful" about coming back, he said.

"We encouraged people to stay but we understood if they felt uncomfortable," Singleton said. "They were fearful of just not knowing what was going to happen and being separated from their families. They said they were going to have to go home and take care of their families."

ICE spokesman Matthew Bourke said the agency doesn't "confirm the existence of any ongoing investigation."


Read more about the aftermath of the staff loss on The Baltimore Sun.